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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tarpon's Billiris wants Silver Alert

Billiris The Silver Alert plan being pushed by U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis and two state lawmakers can't come soon enough for Tarpon Springs Mayor Beverley Billiris.

On May 30, Billiris was shocked to find her 87-year-old mother, Anne Graham, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, wandering down the road outside their home at 2 a.m. Billiris wouldn’t have known her mother was missing until later that morning if she hadn’t been tipped off by her 3-year-old miniature poodle, Charlie.

Charlie, who Billiris now calls her “hero dog,” barked for Billiris to wake up that morning. Once outside, Charlie refused to come in and led a sleepy Billiris to the end of her driveway. That’s when she saw her mom standing in the street, more than a block away from the house. It appears she slipped out of the house through the only door that didn’t have an alarm, Billiris said.

That’s been rectified, but Billiris said she shudders to think how far her mom may have wandered, if not for Charlie.

— Rita Farlow, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:28am]


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